Today marks the first day of Fall, my very favorite season. As soon as the humidity drifts away in September, replaced by that I-need-a-light-jacket kind of chill, I want to give the whole world one giant hug, welcoming the return of Fall with open arms.
One of the reasons I was so joyous over moving back to New England last year was because of Fall. There’s something so special about Fall in New England. It just smells different. The air a bit crisper, the smell of wood burning stoves lingering in the night air. Cozy sweaters, mugs of steaming hot cider, pumpkins, gourds, and colorful mums lining sidewalks and porches. And the FOLIAGE. My heavens, the foliage. It’s what I imagine heaven looks like.
Despite my overwhelming enthusiasm for Fall, I admit I’m not quite ready for the rich flavors of Fall just yet, keeping pumpkin spice at arm’s length just a little longer. Those deep, spiced flavors are more for October, for the full throes of the season. I’m making the transition from summer to fall with soup instead of pumpkin spice mania. Cozy, hearty, filling, delicious Three Bean Country Cabbage Soup, with a spiralized twist.
I’ve never spiralized a head of cabbage before, but after doing so once, I can’t imagine slicing or cutting raw cabbage any other way.
It’s so quick and easy, and the thin spaghetti-like cabbage noodles are the perfect thickness for so many uses, i.e. salads, slaws, sandwich fillers, and of course – soup.
I began by slicing the head of cabbage in half and spiralizing one-half at a time with Blade C, the blade with the tiniest triangles that accompanies most spiralizers. This blade transforms the head of green cabbage into one gigantic pile of skinny slaw-sized noodles.
I found that I had to use my hand to twist the head of cabbage around the blades instead of the handle piece – it was much easier to do it this way, and just as quick.
After realizing the massive amount of cabbage noodles one head of cabbage produces, I ended up using half the amount for this soup. I stored the other half in a Tupperware container to have on hand for salads or a quick slaw. (Speaking of slaw, spiralized cabbage noodles would make an incredible cole slaw).
Vegetable broth is simmered with bay leaves and diced carrots, onion, and celery – your classic Fall mirepoix flavor base. Once the diced vegetables begin to tenderize, the cabbage noodles are added, softening to al dente in the broth that’s seasoned with oregano, sage, and a hint of crushed red pepper. Three different kinds of beans, kidney beans, black beans, and navy beans, are added at the very end to cook just until heated through.
Once the soup is divided into large bowls, garnish the soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano. Or, to keep the soup vegan, omit the cheese.
A bowl of this Three Bean Country Cabbage Vegetable Soup is a divine gateway to Fall. The sage and oregano seasoned broth warm up the taste buds to the robust and rich flavors of Fall to come.
Each spoonful is filled with flavor and texture from the diced vegetables, three types of beans, and cabbage noodles. The touch of heat in the back of the throat from the crushed red pepper will give you an additional hug of warmth as the days turn colder.
I would love to hear from you. What are you most looking forward to about Fall?
- ½ head of green cabbage, spiralized with Blade C into spaghetti-sized noodles
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper (more or less, to taste)
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried sage
- 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 15oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, for garnish (optional)
- In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and increase heat to medium-high. Add the bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring soup to a boil. Cook until vegetables are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Reduce heat to medium. Add the crushed red pepper, oregano, and sage. Stir to combine.
- Add the cabbage noodles and cook 5-10 minutes, until the noodles soften, but still have bite.
- Add the beans and stir to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the soup into desired number of bowls, removing the bay leaves once you see them. Garnish with Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
- Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.